Dental Nurses salary has long been a hot potato and whilst some have undertaken surveys very little has come of it. But what do we really think? Today on social media it has been highlighted that Asda staff are to receive a welcome pay rise … need we say more, of course that is not to undermine Asda staff at all, but rather make the dental profession rethink the value that they place on the dental nurse. The responses have been heart felt and what is clear is that dental nurses acknowledge they are professionals, that they have responsibility and accountability and yet many are poorly remunerated. This is not across the board and the variations hardly make it a fair landscape.
When dental nurses talk of moving to agency work and many have commented on leaving the profession because of low incomes, not because of workload burden or regulation isn’t it time the profession sat up and listened? Only a week ago there was delight that the apprentice will no longer be on £3.50 an hour for the whole of the training period with the new qualification, but they will get the minimum wage for their age during the remainder of their training period.
A registered dental nurse has a commitment to maintaining their professional registration, undertaking quality continual professional development, having an appropriate level of professional indemnity and if the potential dental reform unfolds as is suggested, more input to patient care. All of this should be embraced for the right reasons, but it is hard for those on poor salaries.
Does this instill value in a hardworking professional group who are hungry for achievement and recognition and contribute so much to the dental team and patient care?